Buhari’s last year of redemption

Buhari

A critical survey of the Nigerian political terrain in a pre-election year, especially one in which the administration in power has not fulfilled most of the promises in its manifesto and is planning to run for a second term will reveal that such a year is one full of serious politicking.

It also reveals that it is a year in which the government in power presents a new manifesto and in it begins to make ambitious promises it intends to fulfil, if given the opportunity of a second term.

However, the way the government in power handles the latter is quite disturbing, as it rekindles the flame of hope in the minds of the citizens; who once again naively think those in the government have turned a new leaf and will actually fulfil their said promises.

This actually influences their voting decision and makes them cast their votes in favour of the government in power. Alas, when those in the government get back to power the second time they heartlessly quench the flame of hope in the minds of the citizens and reward them with bad governance.
 
A careful look at the manifestos of past administrations for their second terms and the promises for them that were far from being fulfilled will show that all that is written above  is not  a mere misconceptions but the actual depiction of the Nigerian political scene.

The Buhari’s administration like the past administrations seems not to be doing things differently. 

The president’s New Year speech which had a lot of promises that are meant to be fulfilled in the year 2018 and beyond provides a fresh proof that this administration, in a bid to be re-elected is toeing the same path of its predecessors.

However, what must be clear to those in this administration  is that the old gimmick of enticing Nigerians’ votes with promises may not work this time as Nigerians are more enlightened politically.

This is made evident by the political readiness of many Nigerians who patiently await the 2019 elections to effectively exercise their voting rights.
 
A fair assessment of the performance of this administration shows that it has grossly performed below the expectations of most Nigerians and has not done much in improving the general welfare of its citizens since it came on board in 2015.

Presently, the country is an epitome of dysfunction. The government has suddenly lost regard for the lives of Nigerians, as killer herdsmen have been on rampage lately and nothing significant has been done to curb this deadly menace .

There is also the issue of the Leviathan monster called corruption which stubbornly refuses to be tamed and submit to the “unassailable” integrity of the president. This intriguing development revealed itself to us through a number of scandalous cases of corruption that rocked this administration.
 
Another is the alarming rate of youth unemployment which has been on the rise lately, prevalence of extreme poverty and several infrastructural deficits across the country.

The health care system is virtually on the brink of collapse due to the meagre funds allocated to it yearly and the constant neglect of it by those in the government who regularly seek the best hands abroad.

The educational system just like the healthcare system reeks of neglect and poor funding. And most importantly there is the failure of the government to restructure the country for an efficient and more workable federation.

This issue of restructuring which constituted one of the main points of the ruling party’s manifesto when it contested in the 2015 general elections has not been given the due attention it deserves. Recent letters from notable past military rulers have accurately pointed out the deficiencies of this administration.

These past rulers have openly withdrawn their support for President Buhari’s second term bid, and are of the view that there should be an emergence of a new set of people in the realm of leadership.
 
All the above indices put together point to the obvious fact that the current performance of President Buhari does not make him a merit candidate for a second term.

We are three months into 2018, the last full year of this current administration and President Buhari does not seem to know the significance of this year. He should understand that all his actions in 2018 will surely have an impact on his voyage of 2019.

President Buhari should arise from his deep slumber, re-invigorate his political will and do the needful by urgently addressing all pressing national issues on ground. He should also genuinely embrace the idea of restructuring and fulfil all the promises of change his administration made to Nigerians in 2015.

It is only then that President Buhari can find favour in the eyes of Nigerians in the 2019 general elections.     

Kupolati wrote from the University of Lagos.

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